In these uncertain times, it’s only natural to be concerned about your investments and make sure your funds are safe. We’re proud to reassure you that all People’s Choice deposit, savings and transaction accounts are covered by the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS), sometimes described as the Australian Government’s deposit guarantee.
What is the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS)?
The FCS is an Australian Government scheme that provides protection for certain deposits up to a limit of $250,000 for each account holder at Australian banks, credit unions and building societies (known as authorised deposit-taking institutions or ADIs) that are covered by the FCS, in the unlikely event that an ADI fails. People’s Choice is one of the ADIs covered by the FCS. You can find the list of all ADIs that are covered by the FCS here.
The FCS is designed to protect ADI depositors in Australia from potential loss in the event of the failure of an ADI, provide depositors with fast access to their protected deposits, and to support the stability of the Australian financial system.
(The FCS also provides some protection for claimants if a regulated general insurer fails.)
How much protection is provided?
The protection limit of $250,000 applies to the total of all deposits one account holder has with a single ADI.
If you’ve got multiple deposits with the same institution, they must be added together. This includes where accounts are held with different businesses that are operated by a single ADI. The FCS does not treat a single organisation as being two or more separate banks for the purpose of the protected balances, even if it trades under two or more names.
On 1 March 2023, People’s Choice Credit Union merged with Heritage Bank. The merged organisation will adopt the legal name of Heritage and People’s Choice Ltd and will operate under one banking licence.
As a result, the FCS limit of $250,000 is applied to the combined total of an account holder’s deposits held with Heritage and People’s Choice Ltd -- whether under the trading name ‘Heritage Bank’, or the trading name ‘People’s Choice Credit Union’. This will mean that if you hold deposits with both ‘Heritage Bank’ and ‘People’s Choice Credit Union’, you will no longer have two separate $250,000 guarantees and any amount you hold with the merged organisation, Heritage and People’s Choice Ltd, that is greater than $250,000 will not be guaranteed by the FCS.
Deposits in business accounts and other deposit accounts will be added together if they are held in the name of the same individual or entity. For joint accounts, the deposit balance will be split equally between all account holders for the purpose of working out what is protected by FCS. This means if you have an individual account in your name only and a joint account, the FCS protects you for the balance of the individual accounts and half of the balance of the joint account, up to a total of $250,000.
When does the FCS apply?
The Financial Claims Scheme can only apply when it’s activated by the Australian Government. This will only be done in the unlikely event that a financial institution covered by the FCS has failed and can no longer meet its financial obligations. Once activated, the FCS is administered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). APRA then aims to return protected deposits to affected account holders within seven calendar days.
Who is an account holder under the FCS?
At People’s Choice, all account holders are account holders under the FCS – this includes individuals, companies, partnerships, unincorporated associations, and trustees of trusts, superannuation funds and approved deposit funds.
A group of individual trustees of a trust, superannuation fund or approved deposit fund are treated as a single account holder.
An account holder doesn’t have to be an Australian resident or citizen to be covered under the FCS.
What type of accounts are covered?
The Financial Claims Scheme applies to all People’s Choice deposit, transaction and savings accounts. Credit balances on credit card facilities or other loans are not covered.
Where can I get more information?
You can get further information about the FCS here